Articles & Recipes

Jamaican Fricassee Chicken (diabetes-friendly)

April 13, 2018

Fricassee chicken is another recipe that is typically cooked with the skin on, and the whole chicken is usually used. Avery Chin, a great Jamaican chef, shared this fantastic recipe with us, and we’ve reduced the fat by using skinless chicken thighs and drumsticks and by draining off the oil after pan-frying.

Ingredients Makes 6 servings

1⁄2 Scotch bonnet chile pepper, seeded and chopped 1⁄2
1 tbsp paprika 15 mL
1 tbsp garlic powder 15 mL
1 tbsp onion powder 15 mL
11⁄2 tsp ground allspice 7 mL
3⁄4 tsp ground ginger 3 mL
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 5 mL
1⁄2 tsp salt 2 mL
3 tbsp water 45 mL
1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce 15 mL
2 lbs bone-in skinless chicken thighs and drumsticks 1 kg
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided 45 mL
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided 45 mL
1 large onion, chopped 1
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
2 large tomatoes, diced 2
1 cup water 250 mL
3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves (see tip, opposite), chopped 3


  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Marinating time: 20 minutes or overnight
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  1. In a large bowl or sealable plastic bag, combine Scotch bonnet, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, ginger, pepper, salt, 3 tbsp (45 mL) water and soy sauce. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover or seal, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or preferably overnight.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil over medium heat. Working in batches, remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade, and add chicken to pan. Cook chicken for about 5 minutes per side or until well browned on both sides. Transfer chicken to a plate. When all of the chicken is browned, drain the oil from the skillet.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add the remaining oil to the pan. Add onion and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan, along with any accumulated juices and the reserved marinade; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 12 minutes, turning chicken once. If liquid is evaporating quickly, reduce heat to low. Stir in thyme and simmer for 5 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh registers 165°F (74°C).
This recipe is usually made spicy. For more heat, use a full Scotch bonnet pepper and leave the seeds in. Always check the labels for ground spices such as allspice and ginger to make sure there is no added sodium. Chill onions in the freezer before cutting them. This reduces the amount of gas the onions release into the air — and it’s the gas that makes your eyes tear up. For a more authentic flavor, look for Jamaican or Guyanese thyme at a Caribbean grocery store. Every variety of thyme has a slightly different flavor, and Jamaican thyme in particular tends to be more pungent than North American thyme, so add a bit less of it to your recipes.


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